If you want to keep chickens, then one of your primary concerns may be whether they make a lot of noise. How important this will depend on person to person, but it is useful information to know nonetheless. Intrigued, I decided to spend time researching and discussing the topic with other chicken keepers. Here is what I found common between them.
So, are chickens noisy? Chickens can be noisy, however, most hens are quiet the majority of the time. Hens are generally most noisy in the morning when they are laying eggs. Other times when they may make more noise than usual are when they are communicating among themselves in the coop, during times of broodiness, when they want to call other birds in the flock over to food, or when they suspect a predator is close and want to send out a warning.
Chickens do have their peculiarities. This is something that every chicken keeper needs to be aware of.
They do best when kept in groups, as they are very sociable and greatly enjoy the company.
These birds enjoy companionship when they play, forage, roost, and it helps them to feel safe.
Chickens have a society where communication is key to maintaining order. It comes as no surprise that some noise is required for such purposes.
Let us now take a closer look at the types of noises they make, when, and if there is anything you could theoretically do to keep the noise down (if and when required).
Do Chickens Make A Lot Of Noise?
For the most part, chickens do not make a lot of noise. They go about their days in a relatively calm manner.
However, this does not mean they make little to no sound at all, nor that they cannot make a lot of noise.
In fact, chickens can indeed make a lot of sounds and do so at different times. It’s important to remember it’s almost always for good reason.
Roosters are typically noisier than their female counterparts; they are nature’s alarm clock as you likely know already.
If you keep Roosters (or male chickens), then you should therefore expect their loud announcement each morning at sunrise.
Hens, on the other hand, do not make such outlandish calls, but they will make a certain level of noise throughout the day.
If you are seeking quieter chickens, the Buff Orrington breed is a friendly and quiet chicken breed.
Other very quiet chicken breeds include Brahmas, Speckled Sussex, Rhode Island Red, and Wyandottes.
That being said, all breeds of chickens are not known for being overly noisy.
But as already mentioned, they do make particular sounds at different times during the day.
Let us now take a closer look at five of the most common sounds you can likely expect from a flock of chickens:
The Egg Song
The egg song is the noise chickens make in the morning when they are about to lay eggs.
This “egg song” sounds more like a cackle.
Once a hen is finished laying an egg, she will end the cackle, but, will make more cackling sounds in case of a predator nearby, she hopes her cackling will draw the predator away from her egg.
Chatter In The Coop
Chickens are quite friendly creatures that like to chat with their fellow feathered friends.
When hens are about to settle down for the night, they stop chattering and begin murmuring softly to sleep.
Murmurs Of Contentment
Chickens express contentment and happiness with murmurs. This is a deeper-pitched sound that is not overly loud.
It can usually only be heard when standing next to, or inside the coop. You would normally have to actively listen out for it.
Mother hens make tuk-tuk sounds when calling their chicks to food. This sound indicates pleasure related to food and is done to ensure their chicks eat.
Of course, if you have no chicks then this sound may not be made as much. Although, some chicken keepers do observe these sounds even in aged flocks.
Broody hens can be very ill-tempered, constantly clucking away when they feel broody. This behavior sends the message to other hens to keep out of their way.
Are Chickens Noisy At Night?
Chickens are not usually noisy at night. This is, of course, great news for us chicken keepers and also our local neighbors!
Like us humans, nighttime is when chickens rest. They like to roost high above the ground of their coop.
Since there is a social hierarchy with any community or flock of chickens, you may find roosters on the highest rung of the roost with their favorite hens next to them.
The less self-confident hens will stay on the bottom level.
The only time chickens might make noise at night is if there is a predator nearby.
Chickens will warn their flock members of impending danger. This could be an animal like a fox, although it could also be something else depending on where you live.
However, if you have a well-designed chicken coop with a strong door and secure lock, your birds should fear no danger.
Sometimes rodents can gain access into a chicken coop and pull at the chicken’s feathers and annoy them when they are trying to rest.
Aside from having a well-designed coop, you must make sure that you clear away any food scraps left over by the chickens as the smell does attract rats and mice.
Your chicken coop must be raised high up off the ground to deter rodents and other pests from the coop.
How Do I Stop My Chickens Being So Noisy?
It is impossible to stop chickens from making any noise; it is in their nature and its their primary method of communication.
Keep in mind that the noisiest chickens are the roosters (male chickens ). Male chickens are territorial, and they are quite vocal about that fact.
Roosters generally crow at sunrise, as these birds are early risers.
Hens are not very noisy; they do make a lot of sounds, although they are gentle sounds.
The only time hens are noisy is when they are laying an egg, and that cannot be helped.
Other times hens are noisy is when they are broody or if they are trying to escape from danger when their feathers start rustling. Again these are all good reasons to be noisy.
If you want a quieter flock, have an all-female flock with just a small number of birds, as this will be less noisy.
As long as you provide your birds with everything that they need to thrive, such as a balanced diet, a clean dry, and secure coop, and room to run around, your chickens should have little reason to be vocal. Not that hens are very vocal in the first place.
Many chicken keepers really like the different sounds hens make, and find it relaxing, watching chickens go about their day can be engaging and entertaining.
Some chickens are chatty, and others are very quiet and calm, a lot of that is down to self-confidence.
Chickens are not very noisy, and a lot of the vocalizations they make are low-sounding and usually not heard.
Male chickens can be loud, but that is because they are territorial. Hens are a lot quieter.
It is asking the impossible to expect any animal not to make any noise, including chickens.
Every animal needs to communicate and express themselves to be understood; this is crucial to survival.
Most chicken keepers are not put out by the sounds chickens make and find most of their vocalizations to be calming.
The only times you could say hens are noisy is in the morning around egg-laying.
They do make more noise when they are about to lay an egg, and after they lay an egg, to keep potential predators away from their precious eggs.
If you want the quietest flock possible, perhaps you could look into the calmer breeds and have no roosters among your flock as they are instinctively noisier.
Ultimately, noise is not a significant concern with keeping chickens, as they are gentle and calm for the most part.
Your main concern is the smell. Keeping chickens can be smelly work, so you must prepare for this!
Chickens are very sociable birds and do communicate with one another. They make different sounds depending on what they are trying to tell the other birds in the flock.
Female Chickens (Hens) will generally make more noise in the morning than at any other time of day. They typically do so for the following reasons: they have awoken and want to check in with their flock-mates, they are hungry and after food and water, they want to be let out of the coop, and they are singing their egg-laying song. Male chickens (Roosters/Cockerels) will let out a loud distinctive alarm sound each morning.
Chickens cannot laugh, but they are able to make sounds similar to that of laughter. Often chickens will make this ‘laughing sound’ when they are nervous or anxious about something.
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.